Built in 1591, the Charminar is a historical monument and mosque located in Hyderabad, Telangana. It is a widely accepted theory that this structure was built in the centre of the city to commemorate the eradication of plague. The Charminar is a square structure with each side 20 meters long, with four grand arches each facing a fundamental point that open into four streets. At each corner, there is an exquisitely shaped minaret, 56 meters high, with a double balcony. The area surrounding Charminar is also known by same name. The monument overlooks another and grand mosque called the Makkah Masjid. Muhammad Quli Qutb Shah, the 5th ruler of the Qutb Shahi dynasty, commissioned bricks to be made from the soil brought from Mecca, the holiest site of Islam, and used them in the construction of the central arch of the mosque, hence its name.
A thriving market exists around the Charminar: Laad Baazar is known for jewellery, especially exquisite bangles, and the Pather Gatti is famous for pearls. In its heyday, the Charminar market had some 14,000 shops.

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